Craig's First Take: Fast and Furious 6


You can’t say the “Fast and Furious” series hasn’t always put a hundred percent into being entertaining; so eager to please that it just continues to go on and on with the same formula of outrageous car chases, hardcore fist fights, tear-up-the-street drag races, and jokes so easy even a small child could understand them. And for so long this puppy has purred along so well that you forgive the monotony but now its not only monotonous but it’s also Fonzie jumping the shark, only this time he’s doing so in a Chevy roadster.

Putting aside Chris Morgan’s stiff dialogue, Vin Diesel gives a performance here that would make anyone think he’s trying to sabotage any future appearances in these movies. Not only does he sound like he’d rather be sleeping but at times I could swear his eyes appear to be drooping as well. That’s nothing compared to The Rock though, who seems to be thinking “I’m going to make every absurd word out of my mouth sound like it has profound meaning.” Paul Walker gives ample reason why he should switch his resume career goal from actor to wooden driver who reacts woodenly. Whenever the camera switches over to Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris, you know its time to shoe horn in some comic relief moments for this team and if you love dick and forehead jokes, you’re in for a real treat. Sung Kang plays the second Asian guy in two weeks, and actually the second Asian guy for him after “Bullet to the Head” earlier this year, who Hollywood doesn’t seem to know what to do with. Michelle Rodriguez and Gina Carano also show up as some tomboy girls in on the action, and oddly they are the only ones who seem in any way natural here.

And I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying this movie is about the action you condescending critic. Well fine, I’ll say this. Director Justin Lin has been a decent choice to take on this series. He has style and a fast-pace; one need only look at the car chase and opening credit sequence at the start of the film. I also admire another fantastic scene where it looks like he said “get me a bunch of Formula 1 racing cars with the power and precision of the bat mobile”. But his car chase scenes suffer from a case of trying to top what came before and his camera just can’t keep up with it. One sequence where our heroes have to stop a tank is an incomprehensible mess of editing combined with a bunch of CGI swinging and flying around that frankly looks like an absolute joke. The ending also suffers from being over-the-top. Fist fights fair better, especially one between Carano and Rodriguez and then a tag team match at the end with The Rock and Vinny D vs. two villains, but constant pummeling isn’t enough to save this thing.

As for the plot, well really who cares? Special Agent Hobbes (The Rock) is after some bland villain (Luke Evans) who we usually forget is even in the movie whenever he isn’t on screen and so Hobbes recruits Dom (Diesel), Brian (Walker), and the rest of their fast-driving team to stop the villain and his driving cohorts from stealing military something or other. Also Dom’s girl Letty (Rodriguez) is alive and suffers from amnesia that Dom must bring her back from, because there’s nothing “Fast and the Furious” fans would like more than a subplot seemingly taken from a Nicholas Sparks novel. It’s all basically garbage but we already expected that. What’s harder to sit through is the phony way these movies are now being produced.